…warned against hoarding the vaccines, especially now that the number of cases of infection are soaring
The Federal Government on Monday kicked off the administration of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, the second phase of the vaccination programme will be administered with the over four million Moderna vaccines doses donated by the United States of America.
The phase two COVID-19 vaccination exercise which started at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, was anchored by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The Moderna vaccines consignment, which was brought in through COVAX, the international aid initiative that seeks to ensure global access to vaccines is reported to be part of the 500 million doses of vaccines the U.S. government promised to donate to global fight COVID-19.
Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PSC, Mr Boss Mustapha, warned against hoarding the vaccines, especially now that the number of cases of infection are soaring.
He commended all Nigerians, especially those who have received their complete doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine during the first phase which closed in July.
He said: “As you are aware, the third wave with the Delta variant of the virus is here with us. This has resulted in the upsurge of COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks.
“The arrival of the 4,000,080 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Government of the United States, and the 177,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines out of the 29,850,000 doses the Federal Government has purchased through the Africa-Import-Export Bank and the African Union, is highly encouraging and motivating for us at the PSC.
“It is now the responsibility of every citizen to register and get vaccinated so that we can achieve our desired herd immunity of vaccinating at least 70 percent of our eligible population.”
Mustapha pledged that the PSC will continue to monitor with concern the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries with special focus on those with high incidence rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.
He assured that government will continue to do everything possible to minimize the surge of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, as he advised citizens to minimize all non-essential international travels by land, air, or sea, at this time, specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths from COVID-19.
“Consequently, restrictions are placed on travellers from Brazil, India, South Africa and Turkey into Nigeria in line with our travel guidelines. Individuals, transporters, and airlines who flout the guidelines shall be sanctioned.
“State governments are required to ensure all returning travelers from all countries adhere to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat of COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival. Violators will also be sanctioned accordingly.
“We all have a responsibility to safeguard the health of our people by ensuring that all eligible persons in our homes and communities get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccines, while government will continue to ensure sustained availability of the vaccines,” Mustapha stressed.